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Rieti underground

Before the Roman conquest, Rieti, probably founded in the Iron Age, was already an important city of the Sabines.
It stood on a rocky promontory, surrounded by the marshy waters of Lacus Velinus, protected by these and by steep overhanging walls.
In 290 BC it was conquered by the Romans led by the Consul Marco Curio Dentato.
After the conquest two problems presented themselves to the Romans, both solved with the usual ingenuity. The first, the reclamation of the valley, was obviated with the opening of a canal that cut the travertine bank created over the centuries by the calcareous waters of the Velino and allowing the release of the waters into the underlying Nera valley, thus creating the wonderful waterfall of the Marmore. The second was just as ingeniously solved by creating a three-arched bridge that spanned the Velino, connected to the center of Rieti by an imposing inclined viaduct that led to the Porta Romana, also called del Sole for the metope still visible today on one of the buildings overlooking the today's Via Roma.
What is today the main city street was the ancient cardo, that is the via Salaria, the ancient salt road, which from Rome passing through Rieti and Ascoli Piceno reached the sea, made safe and sheltered from flooding by the mighty construction .

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Additional Photos by Silvio Sorcini (Silvio1953) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 18994 W: 130 N: 40109] (214029)
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